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Celebrations, rituals and patterns of consumption are important aspects of folk culture.

Culture (/ˈkʌlər/) is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. Cultural universals are found in all human societies; these include expressive forms like art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies like tool usage, cooking, shelter, and clothing. The concept of material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including practices of political organization and social institutions), mythology, philosophy, literature (both written and oral), and science comprise the intangible cultural heritage of a society.

In the humanities, one sense of culture as an attribute of the individual has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication in the arts, sciences, education, or manners. The level of cultural sophistication has also sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture, or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital. In common parlance, culture is often used to refer specifically to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry. Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century. Some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, and such perspectives are common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions.

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In the news

11 December 2018 – 2018 Strasbourg attack
A gunman kills three people and injures 12 others in a mass shooting in Strasbourg, France, during the annual Christmas market. The shooter flees the scene but is identified by police as a known extremist. The incident is being treated as an act of terrorism. (BBC) (The Daily Telegraph) (The Guardian)
11 December 2018 – Philippines–United States relations
The Balangiga bells stolen during the massacre in Balangiga in 1901 during the Philippine–American War, were returned to the Philippines after 117 years under the possession of the United States.(CNN Philippines)
11 December 2018 – Detention of Meng Wanzhou
Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei who was arrested in Canada for a extradition request from the United States for alleged US sanction violation against Iran, is granted bail with restrictions by a Canadian judge. (CBC)
7 December 2018 –
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou attends a bail hearing in Vancouver while she awaits extradition to the United States. She is charged by Canadian and American prosecutors with conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions in order to commit evasion of United States sanctions against Iran so as to conduct business with Iran. (Reuters)
5 December 2018 –
The chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested on 1 December in Vancouver, Canada. She faces extradition to the United States. Huawei says she faces unspecified charges. (CNN)
14 November 2018 –
A hot air balloon filled with fireworks and other pyrotechnics explodes midair during Tazaungdaing festival celebrations in Taunggyi, Myanmar, injuring nine people on the ground. (ABC News)


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